The first time I heard the word “prebiotic” I was in a Malibu market with my fancy friend and her mother. I had no idea what it was or what it did, but I nodded in agreement as they included it on the list of things they tooootalllyyy needed to buy. Cut to current day and I’m finally learning about these mysterious (at least to me) and trendy (supplements are so in) products. I met Jules who founded The Nue Co., an organic, and very attractive, supplement brand that was born from the belief that nutrition and supplementation should come from food first.
And Jules knows a lot about natural, holistic nutrition. She grew up in a family that used apple cider vinegar and potatoes as remedies for different ailments, and her grandfather helped discover the vitamin B12 at Cambridge University, though he personally refused to take heavily processed supplements. All of this experience, plus her own development of IBS in her 20s, lead Jules on a mission to create supplements free of synthetic fillers, and full of all the good stuff your gut needs. Meet The Nue Co.
Let’s talk about probiotics. Specifically, what are they and why should we be using them?
Our gastrointestinal systems have naturally occurring bacteria, often referred to as our ‘gut flora’ or ‘microbiome.’ The bacteria that make up our microbiome help regulate our internal systems. Everything from helping to metabolise fats, proteins and vitamins to providing defence against infection and supporting a strong immune system. A healthy gut is one of the key foundations to optimal physical, mental, and emotional health.
Probiotics are good bacteria that are either the same as or very similar to the bacteria that are already in your body. Probiotics help to support the growth and balance of the good bacteria against the unhealthy strains of bacteria in your gut. The right ratio of good-to-bad bacteria is necessary for effective digestion, stimulating the gut’s immune system and maximizing your ability to extract nutrients from your diet.
There’s still a huge amount we don’t know about the gut, but microbiologists starting to understand that it can impact everything from mood to weight and the immune system. For example, around 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gut, so it stands to reason if something is “off” in there, you’re going to feel an impact throughout the rest of your body.
What’s the difference between a pre and probiotic?
Put simply, prebiotics feed the existing good bacteria in your gut and encourage it to thrive. A prebiotic acts like a fertilizer that promotes growth of the good bacteria already in your gut. They are available from plants such as chicory, asparagus, and yams. Probiotics are live bacteria delivered to your gut – they help to repopulate and rebalance your microbiome. Live Probiotics are readily available in fermented products such as sauerkraut and kefir.
What are the benefits of The Nue Co products?
There is no substitute for a healthy, balanced diet, which is the foundation for good health. Our products are designed to supplement and support your lifestyle and help you to achieve balance. None of our supplements use more than six ingredients per blend. Made from organic foods, each ingredient is sustainably sourced, scientifically backed by our lab, and certified organic by the Soil Association, meaning they’ve been grown without pesticides or solvents. We work with sustainable farms all around the world. Our baobab is from Africa and our Maca comes from Peru. Our whey is from grass-fed cows in Great Britain. By using five ingredients rather than forty, we ensure that each ingredient delivers what it’s supposed to instead of offering a trace element or cancelling another out.
How, when, and how much should we be taking? Can we mix and match?
The foundation of good health is a nutritious, balanced diet of fresh whole foods. Our supplements work to support a balanced diet and active lifestyle.
I try to eat the best food that I can, when I can. I know that if something has come from a packet then it isn’t going to be as good for me as something from the ground. That said, when I want to eat pasta, I refuse to feel guilty about it, but I’m also not going to indulge for every meal because I know that my body won’t feel great by eating that way. I use a combination of all five products recently. A tablespoon of either Plant Protein + Gut Food in the morning with a teaspoon of Energy Food or Skin Food. Debloat is my go-to, post-pasta.
Are there additional things someone should do alongside taking probiotics that would help enhance their capabilities?
There is no quick fix for optimal health, long term. The gut has been touted as the second brain, and a happy, healthy gut is a great foundation for feeling good.
If we think about it simply, eating a diet of real foods as well as a great pre and probiotic, help our gut flora to thrive. Conversely, processed and refined foods and sugar feed the bad bacteria in our gut, contributing to an imbalance in our microbiome.
In addition to taking a pre and probiotic, you can improve your gut bacteria by eating high fiber food, fermented foods, avoiding refined sugars and artificial sweeteners and limiting intake of natural sugars. Getting adequate sleep and staying hydrated promote good gut health, too.
What’s one thing you wish people knew about gut health?
That a healthy gut creates a solid foundation for optimal health. This said, everyone is different. While a diet of raw foods might work for some people, cooked, warming dishes may be best for others. Tune in to your gut, be kind to your body and know what makes you feel great.